The Crew

Education, a two-way street

When sailing with ATYLA you become a member of our onboard family, working together with our team of professionals to form ATYLA’s crew. The energetic and engaging atmosphere on board combined with our friendly and supportive crew is key to what makes ATYLA special.

Using English as the official language on board we welcome crew members from an array of nationalities and backgrounds to embark in a truly multicultural learning environment. But do not worry if your English is not very good: everyone on board helps one another to understand everything, and in fact, some of our trainees have used their experience on board to improve their english.

At ATYLA we do not operate under a traditional ‘hierarchy’ as we believe that education is a two-way street. There is so much to be learned through listening to one another and working together. However, it is still important to always adhere to the advice of the Professional Crew for your own safety and to make the most of your time on board.

Professional Crew Members

Captain

Captain

Rodrigo de la Serna (1989, Spain)
As the nephew of the ship's creator, he has sailed on ATYLA since childhood and he knows everything there is to know about the ship. In 2013 Rodrigo began repurposing ATYLA into the international training ship she is today. The ship is his home, so, apart from making strategic decisions and keeping the ship and her crew safe, he makes everyone feel welcome by following the Spanish motto “mi casa es tu casa”.

Chief Officer

Chief Officer

Veera Uski (1991, Finland)
A strong and clever person, Veera’s example can inspire anyone on board. With a clear vocation for sailing, since 2011, apart from her studies as Watchkeeping Officer she has done all sorts of jobs on various kinds of ships (from sailing vessels doing therapy for youngsters, to tankers and icebreakers). Veera is great at organising and commanding the watch leaders and the trainees, and in her free time she loves to sing and play music, she has even written some songs.

Chief Engineer

Chief Engineer

Jiří Čechlovský (1994, Czech Republic)
Sailing with ATYLA since 2014, Jiří (Irka) is a smart and skilful engineer, capable of repairing almost anything. He is in charge of keeping ATYLA in perfect shape, and teaching the trainees all the technical aspects of sailing. A very social young man, he loves to joke around with his crewmates, and he speaks, apart from Czech and English, Slovak, Russian and even some Spanish.

Cook

Cook

Alain Testaert (1959, France)
A real adventurer, Alain lived and worked as a chef in 3 different continents throughout his life, so he’s capable of cooking delicious food and adapting to the taste of any culture. Alain is also a socially and environmentally committed person, so he will teach you how a fairer and more sustainable world will make us all happier. He organises the meals and makes sure that trainees help prepare food for their shipmates, maintain the galley, and keep the rest of the ship clean.

Coach

Coach

Laura Tiesnese (1990, Latvia)
Laura went to school in Latvia, to high school in Italy (in the United World College of Duino) and to university in Scotland. A true fan of informal education, Laura has worked since 2010 as facilitator and teacher in different projects around Europe. When she’s not on ATYLA, she works as a facilitator for several UWC programs focused on critical thinking. She is also one of the founders of the International Youth Camp “Go global - Go green”. She loves to help ATYLA’s trainees learn about themselves, their limits, and their comfort zones.

Watch Leaders

On every voyage, ATYLA sails with 4 watch leaders as part of her crew. Watch leaders are individuals with previous sailing experience who wish to practise leadership and learn how to share their skills with others. Each Watch Leader takes charge of a ‘Watch’ (group of trainees) and assists the coach in implementing the Educational Programme.

Learn more about our Watch Leaders Programme

Trainees

During each voyage there are 15 positions on board ATYLA for trainees, they are the largest part of our crew and an essential component of ATYLA’s team. Most have little to no sailing experience and are on board to take part in our Educational Programme, enjoy a sailing adventure and have loads of fun.

Learn more about Sailing as Trainee